When I moved from Microsoft Windows to Linux, a large part of it was based on being tired of paying Microsoft for what Windows isn't.
Using Free (cost) Linux had great appeal.
Plus, I am already conditioned by society to have this entitlement attitude; having these expectations.
Youtube - free.
Google - free.
Email plus all that email storage - free.
I've changed my mind. Linux, as a whole, across the board, should not be free.
I need to be clear on this; I fully support FOSS - Free Open Source Software. Free as in Freedom. And this will never change.
But as we debate the pros and cons of Desktop Environments, systemd and various facets of Linux, one thing becomes increasingly clear:
If we are not paying Linux developers, then we have no stake in Linux development.
They hold all the cards and all of the control.
Enterprise is where the money is, desktop isn't. And since we have no stake, Linux developers can flick our bug reports and complaints aside as the pesky little gnats that they are.
And if we are not the ones paying the Linux developers - then who is? What are their interests?
In another thread, I commented on what it costs to use Zorin per month, by choosing Zorin OS Pro. It came out to a pittance. But let's double it.
Would you pay:
$130 a month for Cell phone and service?
$20 to $40 per month for streaming entertainment?
$50 per month for Microsoft Peripheral Services?
$80 per month for cable T.V.?
Apparently the answer is a resounding YES.
So, would you pay $5 to $10 per month for a Working Linux Distro, that is well supported on Apps, Games and Hardware like Windows is?
When you consider what we are willing to waste each month, why would you expect something good for FREE?
I could do without Netflix each month, pay for Zorin OS and still have month left in my pocket.
(Ok, I don't have Netflix and I don't do McDonalds.... But you get the idea.)
We should Pay For Linux. Ensure our control over our own desktops. Ensure developers are paid - and paid by our interests. Ensure a future in development in Linux. Ensure that hardware, software and entertainment are all well-supported, instead of a flick at pesky gnats.
We can afford to.
We can no longer afford not to.